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Ag minister: Germany’s potato harvest down 25 percent

This summer’s drought and heatwave will cut Germany’s potato harvest by around 25 percent on the year to about 8.7 million tonnes, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Reuters reports that the reduced potato harvest is the latest in a series of bad news after German crops wilted under the highest summer temperatures since records began in 1881.

According to the Reuters report, Germany’s Agriculture Ministry forecast in August the country’s 2018 grains harvest would fall 15.8 percent on the year after crops suffered from drought and hot weather. This could make Germany, traditionally a grains exporter, into an importer.

The smaller potato crop means a tighter market supply at a time when other north-western European producers including France, Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium also suffered from the heatwave, the ministry said.

“This is meeting high demand from industry, such as for potato fries and crisps,” the ministry said. “This means producer prices against this background are well above last year’s very low levels.”